Stark warning to US as attacks on religious liberty surge

Attacks on religious liberty have ‘massively’ increased in the US in recent years, according to a new report.

The First Liberty Institute report found that threats to religious liberty have risen by 133 per cent since 2011.

President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, Kelly Shackelford, said there is a “real battle over religious freedom” in the country.

Religious freedom

The report, titled ‘Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America’, also indicated a 15 per cent rise in cases threatening religious liberty between 2015 and 2016.

Commenting on the report, Shackelford said: “You try to pass a law [protecting] religious freedom in any state and it would be very difficult because there’s so much controversy now over religious freedom”.

The crucial question, said Shackelford, was “whether we’re going to move away from religious freedom or whether we’re going to stay these same United States of America that was built on religious freedom.”

No praying

Last month, First Liberty Institute expressed dismay at a ruling involving one of their clients.

Joe Kennedy, a Christian American football coach, lost his job after rejecting demands to stop praying, bowing his head or kneeling.

US judges said when he prayed on the pitch, he risked “alienating valued community members” and claimed that his actions could be seen as state endorsement of religion.

Mike Berry, Deputy General Counsel for First Liberty Institute, said: “We are deeply disappointed by the decision and will consider all options available to Coach Kennedy as we continue to review the opinion.”

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